Five Things You Can Do When You Can’t Get Out of Bed
Has “I-can’t-get-out-of-bed-in-the-morning” depression ever gotten you down? How do you get out of bed when you’re depressed? You can get yourself out of bed in the morning!
Emotions can be draining, no doubt, leaving you with that “mentally exhausted” feeling. Your brain, out of pure self-preservation, will shut down when it can’t take in any more stimuli. It becomes easier and easier for those who live with depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to find themselves with low emotional energy and to “hide” from life by staying in bed (after all, it’s easier than getting up and facing the day). Even the simplest of tasks (showering, exercising, making breakfast, etc.) seem overwhelming. Your brain may start to invent psychosomatic symptoms of a cold or the flu to make it easier to justify staying in bed.
Feeling emotionally and mentally exhausted all the time saps the joy out of life, and makes it difficult for someone to engage in day-to-day life. Little by little you might find yourself losing interest in activities that you otherwise might enjoy, and a sense of hopelessness, along with helplessness may start haunting your thoughts. All of a sudden, a little more sleep sounds like just what you need, right?
It might take some reprogramming to find your motivation again, but once you’re back in the swing of a familiar active routine, you can ride that momentum forward.
Here are some tips to help get you up and at ‘em…
Take a Bite Out of the Elephant. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, of course. When you wake up dreading a task that feels like “too much,” break it up into a series of smaller tasks that you can knock off your list quickly (e.g., instead of cleaning the ENTIRE garage on Saturday, spend 30-45 minutes cleaning and organizing it over the course of the next few Saturdays; instead of cleaning the entire house all at once, make a goal to clean the kitchen in the morning, then the TV room in the afternoon. Then take the rest of the house on a little bit at a time over the next few days).
Make Your Bed, Brush Your Teeth. Admiral William McRaven, author of “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World,” discusses how making your bed every morning only takes a few minutes, yet it can have a positive impact on your sense of well-being and attitude for the rest of the day. Completing your morning hygiene routine, as though you were getting ready to leave for work, will signal your brain that sleepytime is over and that it’s time to get going. Shower, brush your teeth, and dress for the day like you’re serious about taking it on (ladies, do your hair and makeup). Start your day off with a sense of accomplishment. Once your bed is made, and you’re ready to spring out the door, you’re not likely to climb back under the covers. Your room will immediately feel tidier, your day suddenly feels less exhausting, you’re dressed and ready to go, and you feel great. Congratulations! You’ve nudged yourself out of your comfort zone and out into the world.
Small goals. You can not only break down immediate daily tasks into smaller ones, but you can also do the same with longer-term goals. Start with small steps. Though you may feel depressed and overwhelmed, try committing to do something, like working out, for example, for ten minutes at a time. You can work out for 10 minutes, right? That doesn’t sound nearly as bad as losing 20 pounds. Then, after a couple of weeks, bump yourself up to 15 or 20 minutes at a time. If you don’t feel up to cleaning even the entire kitchen all at once, do it for 10 minutes. Then reward yourself with a break. You might feel like picking back up after your break and finishing now that you’ve started, or maybe you’ll feel like moving on to the next task for the next 10 minutes. Then another break. Then back to your first task. And so on. Eventually, you’ll get a momentum going and find your to-do list more rewarding, even fun.
Step it Up. Coming out of your comfort zone and into the unfamiliar can be scary, even if it means getting something better than you did before. Sure, you’re depressed, but managing your depression is something you’re familiar with. To break that cycle, you need to step out of your comfortable, familiar zone, and that takes some guts. Start by taking small risks and challenges, then when you feel comfortable, upgrade yourself to bigger risks and challenges. Realizing that it takes guts to try out new risks will help you feel more confident and empowered.
Catch the Motivation Bug. Motivation is how you beat the “can’t-get-out-of-bed-blues,” or any kind of depression, anxiety, and/or other mental health issues. What works for you? Experiment, find out, then do more and more of it. Keep yourself rewarded to push yourself through the things you don’t feel up to doing. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself doing and achieving more rather than feeling depressed about what you’re not getting done. Let that forward propulsion keep you going.
Do you suffer from panic attacks? Do you suspect you might have panic disorder? No worries; you can handle this! If you or someone close to you need to talk to someone about mental health issues that seem overwhelming, we can help. Consider reaching out to our expert team at Solara Mental Health at 844-600-9747.
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